Friday, June 7, 2013

"A Story" by James Archer

This week's pieces of the week feature our senior tutors, some of whom represent our very first HWC tutors. We wish them the best of luck in all that they do, and especially in their writing!

                The murderer’s knife, metallic and sinister in the full moon, dripped with a crimson shade of blood. She crouched to the ground, budging the weapon from the victim’s body. Police sirens echoed through the cold, silent night. Rain, pouring, washed the blood from the knife and the victim’s body. The murderer carried the body, thrusting it down an opened, then closed, manhole.

            She ran, no…she sprinted. For her life depended on the escape, everything she knew was dependent on this getaway. No one was to get hurt by her standards, she had no choice. The siren’s reverberated through the empty streets, signaling their rapid approach. She veered into an alleyway, her back to the wall. Panting, she took a minute to breath. The police cars were a mere mile away. Having heard this, the killer sprinted again towards her cell of a home.  Twenty feet or so, she reached a run-down warehouse. The outside bore rust and time and lacked space while the inside was contradictory.  As the creaking gate opened, the killer dashed inside, safe.

            “How’d it go Zora? Any blood left for me?” a man in a black suit nonchalantly joked as Zora, wiping the blood from her hands with a then pristine towel, walked past.

            “Unexpected. I killed him Tobias...He just misunderstood the situation, panicking and the next I know there’s a knife in his stomach…” Zora sighed, disgusted with herself, throwing the towel bitterly.

            “Well, if there’s a bright side, it’s that the job is done,” Tobias facelessly comforted.

            “Easy for you to say, you didn’t have to take a life,” Zora sourly retorted, her footsteps etched in blood with each fresh step.

            “Maybe not, Zora. But, in time, you just might find that you have more in common with us than you think. It’s either that or you could be the Union’s next victim,” Tobias laughed, with no warmth expelling from his throat. “And, who knows, you may even need the desire to take rather than give.” His words ran down her spine like a shard of ice, robbing her of any munificence she thought she had.

            Zora let the conversation rest, somberly and silently climbing the steps toward a well needed rest.

            That night Zora’s dreams morphed grotesquely into a nightmare. She was in a hallway filled with blood, oozing from every corner in its crimson glory. She gasped, yet neither air nor sound escaped from her lips. Her throat tightened slightly, she wasn’t choking but it was close enough for it to feel like the inevitability to death by suffocation. The nightmare dweller wanted to close her eyes, wanted to rid her of the chilling guilt that she felt in the depths of her intestines, but she couldn’t as it was physically impossible.

            After a few moments, which were seemingly an eternity, severed body parts, rose from the bloody surfaces. Each individual finger or toe wiggled and snatched at the air as if they were feeling for something nonexistent. Zora froze, her feet fixated on the ground, able to move, even unable to scream and release her pent up fears. A figure emerged from the farthest part of the hallway, shimmering like static it blurred past the blood and mutilations in a matter of breaths. Unable to shut her eyes, Zora saw the absence of a face on the shadow as it came to face her. Its breath smelled of petrichor, its body resonated like a black hole, and barely noticeable: its hand glinted metallic silver.

            Pain burned its way through Zora’s body beginning from her stomach as the figure plunged a knife into her stomach. “Why, Zora? Why me? Why not you? You’re the sinner, you’re the villain, and you know I’m not. I’m innocent, so…why me, and not you?” Its voice resembled steel brushing steel, a thousand voices in unison. Colors dripped from the ceiling above the figure, bleeding down the shadowy face to create a work of art. Zora winced in pain and surprise, applying pressure to her wound with red liquid covering her palms, finding herself face to face with her first kill, her first victim.

            Fear. Surprise. Sorrow. All these emotions painted his face. He looked thirty, or even twenty five if one weren’t observing him too closely. He shook his killer repeatedly screaming “WHY!?” Tears dripped from Zora’s eyes, the pain branching further and further into her body, both her hands now pushing against her stab wound. “I’m sorry!” Zora screamed, hoping for some retribution.

            “Sorry won’t resurrect me, won’t bring back this society, you know it, I know it.” The victim plunged his knife into her leg. Zora cried in agony. “Good bye, Zora. Enjoy your Hell.” The target reverted back to his former darkness, blurring into the walls, with his departing words dispersed through the air.

            Zora felt her stomach and leg, nothing. All the events washed away before her eyes. Yet, her body still shook with fear, her breathing still shallow. Crouching down on all fours Zora expelled air from her lungs, screaming violently, and ears ringing. Silence followed her fears as the remorseful assassin blacked out.        

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